Celebrating Days of the Dead

famiily Samhain altarOur family altar for remembering our beloved dead, laughing at some memories, weeping at others, letting them come into our consciousness and thus visit with us for a little while. We can see them through the veil at this time of year, it is said. The traditional Mexican sugar skull was made by the kids at the Foundry School ten years ago. We speak of death and rebirth in terms of the elements we are all made of, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit.

ancestors behind the veilThe other two Halloween celebrations we went to this weekend had beautiful outdoor sacred fires (one Aztec/Mayan, the other Grateful Dead music jam), and we wanted one too. It was not a Spare the Air day so we were ok on that score. Pat grilled our dinner and then let the Weber BBQ hold our sacred fire; even though our circle was indoors, we could see the fire reflected inside. So could our neighbors across the creek, apparently, and called 911. As my daughter so succinctly put it on her Facebook status later on, “Having the neighbors call the fire department on your family’s pagan ceremony is equal parts hilarious, awesome, ridiculous, and epic.” They were quite respectful when they saw what the fire was, and they could see a candlelit room inside where we were no doubt having some kind of pagan ceremony (we were). Pat was still wearing his professorial clothes, so no doubt meeting the firemen in his tie and vest looked good. Just a family gathering, checking in with each other and the planet, standing in a circle under the full moon. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again. Blessed be.

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